Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Situation Update 2
April 15, 2011 – 6:00 p.m.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Michelann Ooten, Public Information Officer
SEVERE WEATHER AND FIRE WEATHER CONTINUE TO IMPACT STATE
Due to severe weather and activated, the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) remains activated. Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) personnel remain in the field, assisting local jurisdictions in areas affected by Thursday’s tornado outbreak.
An intensifying storm system moved north of Oklahoma on Thursday. As this system approached Oklahoma, warm moist air was drawn northward from Texas. During the day a dry line moved to near I-35 with warm and moist air to the east, and to the west hot and dry air. Very favorable winds from the surface upwards in the atmosphere added to the volatile conditions across eastern Oklahoma. Storms developed at 3pm along the dry line and moved eastward into eastern Oklahoma. Storms rapidly became severe with several producing tornadoes and wind damage by 5pm across northern Oklahoma. Later in the evening numerous severe thunderstorms produced tornadoes in southeast Oklahoma with a significant tornado impacting Tushka. The National Weather Service reports damage in the following towns: Atoka, Hominy, Lake of the Arbuckle’s, Sapulpa, Coweta, Moyers, Madill, Wagoner, and Talihina. Hail to the size of softballs and winds of 85mph were also reported.
A strong cold front pushed across Oklahoma during the overnight hour. Temperatures will be normal today with very strong north winds. A warming trend will start on Saturday as winds return from the south. While Eastern Oklahoma received beneficial rainfall Thursday night drought conditions remain across much of Oklahoma. Dry ground and warm temperatures will contribute to fire danger much of next week.
FATALITIES AND INJURIES
There were 2 fatalities caused by the Tushka tornado, according to the Oklahoma State Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
There were 43 injuries that occurred during the Tushka tornado, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission reports 11,584 homes and businesses are without electric service due to the storm, including the following.
Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives reports that Southeastern Electric Cooperative has been hit hard. At last count, 105 3-phase poles are down and 45 single phase poles are down. Crews from neighboring cooperatives are coming in to help and others have been put on stand-by.
PSO reports 2,272 customers including (942 Tillman County, 876 Comanche County, 661 Atoka County) in the Lane Subdivision) are without service.
OG&E reports 5,086 customers including (3,179 Oklahoma City, 570 Mustang, 406 Healdton, 391 Ratliff City) are without service.
Southeastern Electric Cooperative:
People’s Electric Cooperative, Ada: 28 outages
Cotton Electric Cooperative, Walters: 129 outages
Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, Norman: 2 outages
Caddo Electric Cooperative, Binger: 48 outages
Central Rural Electric Cooperative, Stillwater: 25 outages
Indian Electric Cooperative, Cleveland: 94 outages
Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Durant: 3,750 outages
Choctaw Electric Cooperative, Hugo: 150 outages
Total Electric Co-op outages being reported: 4,226
Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC) reports they have lost a total of 35 high-voltage transmission line “H-Structures,” ranging in height from 85’ to 120’. These structures support the high-voltage transmission line network surrounding the Atoka, Tushka, Stringtown and Lane area. The heaviest transmission line losses for WFEC are generally within a 6 mile radius of the town of Atoka. WFEC and contractor repair crews are onsite, making preliminary damage assessments and initial repairs.
SHELTERS AND OTHER ASSISTANCE
American Red Cross continues to operate a shelter at First Baptist Church in Atoka located at 123 N. Delaware. On Thursday night, 12 people displaced by the Tushka tornado stayed at the shelter, American Red Cross reports. The Salvation Army arrived Thursday in Tushka and continues to provide meals and hydration for the first responders.
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief is also assisting with meals.
STORM DAMAGE LOCAL REPORTS
Coal County Emergency Management reports tornado damage in the northern part of Coal County in the Parker and Ashland area. 1 house damaged and 2 trailer homes on an oilfield location were heavily damaged. There were multiple barns and outbuildings destroyed. County fire departments and commissioner work crews were out clearing debris from the roads in Coal County. No injuries reported.
Delaware County Emergency Management reports one mobile home overturned due to straight line winds in Oochie. 4 people were inside and were rescued by fire department. PSO is repairing downed power lines and Emergency management is doing damage assessments. The damage is not extensive; only about 100 square yards of damage.
Hominy Emergency Management reports damage 4 miles north of the city of Hominy. A dozen or so power poles, Commercial Structures, Roof damage and limbs down.
LeFlore County Emergency Management reports a tornado touched down in Talihina on Ponderosa Road. Phones are out near Talihina, sheriff deputies are on scene.
Pontotoc County Emergency Management reports power lines, tree limbs down in the Allen and Stonewall areas. Additional damage south of Stonewall toward Fittstown where one trailer had its roof blown off and three homes lost roofs. Also a tree fell on a car. Softball size hail reported west of Hickory.
Woodward County Emergency Management reports wind damage this morning throughout the city of Woodward including isolated power outages. There was also damage to the west wing of the Woodward hospital caused by high winds
Custer County Emergency Management reports two tractor trailers blown over on I-40 this morning along with 3 injuries due to high winds.
WILDFIRE LOCAL REPORTS
Blaine County Emergency Management reported a grass fire 9 miles west and 2 miles north of Watonga. DPS assisted Blaine County by providing traffic control.
Comanche County Emergency Management reports a large grass fire west of Goodyear Boulevard. Homes have been evacuated in the area. A shelter/evacuation point was established at Holy Family Catholic Church, 1010 Northwest 82 Street, Lawton. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is assisting Comanche County and Lawton Police Department with several fires on the West side of Comanche County. Several intersections were closed down due to the fires; US62 and Deyo Mission Road southbound and 112 St/Lee Blvd. State Forestry has approved 4 dozers out of southeast Oklahoma to help in Comanche County.
Tillman County Emergency Management reports a fire between Tipton and Jackson County Line, and another fire 3 miles north and 4 miles west of Davidson.
Fires have also been reported in Beckham, Carter, Dewey, Greer, Jackson, Jefferson, Stephens and Texas Counties.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports that there were 25 storm related hospital transports, 11 walk-ins, and 6 individuals hospitalized overnight due to the severe weather outbreak.
PRICE GOUGING STATUTE IN EFFECT
Oklahoma’s price gouging statute remains in effect in all of Oklahoma’s 77 counties due to the State of Emergency. The price gouging statute prohibits an increase of more than 10 percent in the price of most goods and services when a State of Emergency has been declared. Anyone who suspects price gouging is urged to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029.
For Oklahoma residents seeking non-emergency disaster or health and human service information, please contact your local 2-1-1. Services are available 24 hours a day by dialing 2-1-1 from your home or cellular telephone.
Next Situation Update -- As necessary